Although I have a mile-long list of places where I love to shop, I must admit that Toys”R”Us isn’t typically one of them. It is, on the other hand, one of my son’s favorites. Sometimes I take roundabout routes when driving just to avoid passing it and hearing the constant pleas to pull over. However, on the occasions I do shop there, I always use a few tips that I’ve learned over the years to save a little extra money. Here are seven ways to save at Toys”R”Us:
1. Shop the right time of year
I typically don’t shop at Toys”R”Us very often, but there are a couple of months of the year when it’s worth it to spend a bit more time there. Although prices at Toys”R”Us are typically slightly higher than many of their competitors, from October through December they run some amazing deals! Typically during this time of year they offer numerous deals such as Buy One Get One Free, select items up to 50 percent off and some pretty spectacular coupons to boot. Last November, Toys”R”Us partnered with Groupon to offer $20 worth of merchandise for $10. Last year, I stocked up on gifts by scoring My Little Pony and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures, which both had Buy One Get One Free offers, as well as Monster High dolls and 7-11 Slurpee Makers marked far lower than other stores. Even if you don’t typically shop at Toys”R”Us, this is the time of year to start. Make sure you’re checking their ads and website every week for deals.
2. Price match
You may be surprised to learn that Toys”R”Us offers price matching. I used this service just a few months ago when Walmart had a board game advertised for $8.88 that I wanted to buy, but it was sold out. I simply took the ad over to Toys”R”Us and got the game for the same price! Toys”R”Us will price match any competitor’s ad, but you will need to bring the ad to the store. And Toys”R”Us not only matches competitor’s printed ads, but they will match prices from selected online competitor websites, including Walmart.com, Target.com, BestBuy.com, Sears.com, Kmart.com, buybuyBaby.com, Meijer.com, FredMeyer.com, diapers.com, BabyDepot.com, and Amazon.com (not including Amazon Marketplace items). There are a few stipulations, however, to Toys”R”Us’ price matching policy, including a maximum of two of the same items when price matching. They will also not price match Buy One Get One Free offers, gift with purchase offers, or Black Friday offers. To find out more about this service, check out their FAQs on price matching.
3. Sign up for emails
I hate signing up for company emails because my inbox is already bombarded with offers, but you definitely do not want to miss Toys”R”Us emails! They often send emails promoting one-day-only "Red Hot Deals" that have included such items as Disney Princess Sparkling Princess Dolls for $5, (normally $9.99), LEGO Creator Super Racers for $9 (normally $14.99), and Monster High Dolls for $14 (normally $19.99). They also just recently had a Red Hot Deal for Angry Birds plush toys for $4, (normally $9.99). These emails usually go out the day before the sale, and the prices are only good for one day. These emails seem to be much more prominent during the fall months, just like the best sales and specials. You can sign up for Toys”R”Us emails and manage your preferences here.
4. Become a Rewards Member
I love cash back rewards (who doesn’t), and Toys”R”Us is one of the few retailers to offer them. Through their rewards program, Rewards”R”Us, you can earn two points for every dollar you spend, and for every 500 points you accumulate, you will receive a $5 reward! If you have a Rewards”R”Us Credit Card, you will earn rewards even faster, garnering four points for every dollar, equating to a $5 reward for every $125 you spend. However, one of the fun aspects of the Rewards program is that every now and then they run great promos like double points or a percentage back. Between September 8th and October 31st, 2013, you can earn 10 percent back for every toy and Halloween costume you purchase. That means that if you spend $200 at Toys”R”Us on qualifying items before Halloween, you will earn $20! The maximum amount of rewards you are eligible to receive with this promo is $100, and the rewards are sent via email on or after November 16—just in time for the holidays!
5. Purchase discounted gift cards
Getting a deal on gift cards is another great way to save at any store, and I definitely don’t hit Toys”R”Us without a few of these in my pocket! Raise.com almost always has Toys”R”Us gift cards, and they are usually discounted as high as 8–10 percent. Purchasing discounted gift cards means you can snag a $50 gift card for $46. It may not be a fortune, but pair that with a Red Hot Deal and you might even get yourself an extra toy for that $4! Other sites for finding discounted gift cards include GiftCardRescue, Giftcards.com and GiftcardGranny, all of which almost always have Toys”R”Us cards available.
6. Consider a Toys”R”Us credit card
If you tend to shop at Toys”R”Us often, you may want to consider the "R"Us Credit Card or MasterCard. Both of these cards offer shoppers double rewards points (four points for every dollar spent at Toys”R”Us), and the MasterCard offers one point for every dollar spent at any other store. “R”Us Credit Card holders can receive up to $150 in Reward Dollars each month, and earnings beyond $150 carry over to the next month. In addition to the extra points, the "R"Us Card offers no annual fee, hassle-free returns and recall notices, and your choice of 10 percent off your first purchase or special financing. You can find all of the details of the “R” Us Card and apply here.
7. Shop the front of the store
Most stores tend to put their discounted or clearance items in the back of the store, but Toys”R”Us isn’t most stores. In fact, their clearance items are usually located at the very front of the store, making them surprisingly easy to miss (though your location may vary). The majority of Toys”R”Us locations use the seasonal merchandise section to house their clearance goods since the merchandise here is changed often. These are usually the first 2–3 aisles in the store. Many locations will use the back wall and endcaps in this section for their clearance merchandise. So instead of heading straight for the back of the store next time you go in, walk the first few aisles and you may find some goodies!